PARK officials have denied a Bigfoot-like creature is on the loose in Wanstead’s woods after a “strange and hairy” bear-like animal was spotted by a fisherman. Trainee fitness instructor Michael Kent said he was “stunned” when he saw the “hairy, dark creature” during an evening fishing trip in the Hollow Ponds area of Epping Forest, on the border between Wanstead and Leytonstone.
Mr Kent, 18, said: “I was there with my dad and brother. I was walking over to where my brother was when I heard this rustling sound. “I looked over and saw this strange, dark figure that resembled a bear. It was hunched over and I could see it had a really hairy back. I think it must have heard me and scampered off into the bushes after a couple of seconds. “It was getting dark but I still managed to get a good look at it. It was about 4 ft tall, so it was too small to be human, but not the right shape to be a deer, it didn’t have long legs or anything like that.
“I’ve been fishing in the area since I was five years old, and I’ve seen deer, dogs and even a cow before but never anything like this. “It definitely looked like a bear. My dad and brother weren’t so sure they just laughed but I really do believe I saw one.”He added: “It would be good if there bears around here because it would mean we’d have some other wildlife round here to enjoy, as long as they didn’t go around attacking people. Guardian article. 11/11/2008
Other reports from the area include:
Hackney Marsh Growling Bear 1981 Londonist Article
It began on 27th December 1981, when four young boys came across a beast they described as “a giant great growling hairy thing” as they were playing in the thick snow on the marsh. Thirteen-year old Tommy Murray was scared stiff by the beast, which allegedly raised up on its hind legs and growled. The boys scattered in horror, all slipping upon the white blanket. This shocking encounter came just hours after the friends had stumbled across a mysterious set of impressions in the snow that seemed to have been made by a large animal they couldn’t identify. Soon after the incident more than fifty police with dogs, marksmen and a helicopter scoured the area, but despite the set of tracks being discovered there was no sign of the animal.
The Hackney Marsh Bear 2012 Gazette Article
Terrified university student Helen Murray said she took the snaps while out for a stroll near dense woodland close to a path near the Old River Lea on bank holiday Monday earlier this month. She said she was stopped in her tracks by the unknown animal, which was larger than a person and covered in shaggy black fur. “I tried to stay calm as I wasn’t sure what kind of animal it was or if it was even alive,” she said. “I had my phone ready to call 999. Then the creature moved. Somehow I managed to take a couple of pictures before I ran. “I managed to get away but was scared half to death.”
Ms Murray says she didn’t contact the police because she thought they wouldn’t believe her. A spokeswoman for Hackney police said there have been no other reports of sightings, while experts at London Zoo said the pictures were not clear enough for them to comment. The photographs have revived memories of the unexplained case of a bear reportedly sighted on the Marshes in 1981 – 50 police officers, army marksmen, and a helicopter were drafted in to search the area, but the beast was never found. Officers at the time stressed the people who’d seen the animal were not hoaxers, although they admitted they could have been victims of a hoax.
Two bear carcasses had previously been found nearby in the River Lea and it remains a mystery. The animals had been decapitated, and no-one found out how they got there.
Until Next Time. Deborah @)—‘–,—-.